Professor for Art History
Ingres’s Eucharist: On the Possibility of Modern Theo-Aesthetics”
In 1841, Ingres unveiled a painting in his studio that has become known as La Vierge à l’Hostie. The title appropriately reflects the painting’s critical history, which has focused, from the very beginning, on issues of style and Ingres’s controversial characterization of the Virgin. While generally accepted, La Vierge à l’Hostie is nonetheless a misleading title. It not only reduces the central motif, the Blessed Sacrament, to a mere attribute, a move that is, as Charles Lenormant already noted in 1841, theologically unsound. It also detracts, in ways detrimental to a fuller understanding of the work, from its actual subject, a Eucharist miracle. As a result, scholars have overlooked the picture’s central claim, namely, that art itself is a form of transubstantiation, which can provide pictorial evidence of the immaterial, imaginary and invisible through an aesthetic and theological exploration of materiality.
- German art and culture of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries
- The resurgence of religion in the first half of the nineteenth century
Painting the Sacred in the Age of Romanticism, Ashgate: Burlington, 2009.
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From Manhattan to Mainhattan. architecture and style as transatlantic dialoge, 1920 – 1970, Cordula Grewe (ed.), Washington: German Historical Inst., 2005.
Ernst Thomann – Einsichten. Katalog zur Retrospektive seines Gesamtwerke, Ausstellungskatalog Kommunale Galerie Emmendingen, Emmendingen: VMM Verlagsbüro, 1990.
Center for Advanced Studies BildEvidenz